“I could feel something cold stalking my heart. It was fear. They all begin this way, I thought, with pledges of love.”
“When faced with the illogical, one must expand the sphere of logic to include rules of logic for that which is not logic. This is the only possibility in a world that works according to the rules of rationality.”
“Oaths, in my opinion, infernal or not, ought to be short.”
“After all, he meant well. Foreigners never seem to understand how little attraction an island of damp fogs, cut off from civilization, and a provincial little court has for us Parisians, who inhabit the most cultivated, powerful monarchy in the world.”
“Daughter, your presence is a stay and consolation to me. Begin again in the Tenth Book; tell me, how does Aristotle define true happiness?” “Father, he tells us that true happiness is found in contemplation, whereas the common idea of happiness as pleasant amusements is fostered by the courts of tyrants.”
“Why the Romans, Father?” I asked him one afternoon. “Because, my child, they teach us how to bear suffering in a world of injustice where all faith is dead,” he answered.”
“Are you aware of the penalties reserved for freethinkers? I could send you to the block. Good.”
“I mistrust mountebanks—especially of the female variety.”
“Not bad in short, though the last one [understanding the language of animals], isn't half as useful as you might expect, since when all's said and done the language of the beasts tends to revolve around: a) the endless hunt for food, b) finding a warm bush to sleep in the evening, and c) the sporadic satisfication of certain glands. (Many would argue that the language of human kind boils down to this too)”
“No, no, no, no. Don't get carried away, man. One thaw is not the summer.”
“Take a moment from time to time to remember that you are alive. I know this sounds a trifle obvious, but it is amazing how little time we take to remark upon this singular and gratifying fact. By most astounding stroke of luck and infinitesimal portion of all the matter in the universe came together to create you and for the tiniest moment in the great span of eternity you have the incomparable privilege to exist.
For endless eons there was no you. Before you know it, you will cease to be again. And in between you have this wonderful opportunity to see and feel and think and do. Whatever else you do with your life, nothing will remotely compare with the incredible accomplishment of having managed to get yourself born. Congratulations. Well done. You really are special.”
“And, you know, you never really summon all of your strength until you know that there’s no way back, no way to go but onward.”
“The person who is normal in terms of being well adapted is often less healthy than the neurotic person in terms of human values. Often he is well adapted only at the expense of having given up his self in order to become more or less the person he believes he is expected to be.”
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